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Aaron Herold

Assistant Professor of Political Science
Fraser 107b

Aaron Herold is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, coordinator of Legal Studies, and co-director of the Forum on Constitutionalism and Democracy. He teaches courses on political theory, constitutional law, and judicial politics. His research focuses on the American constitutional tradition, the political philosophy of the liberal Enlightenment, and the thought of Alexis de Tocqueville—especially as these pertain to questions about the public role of religion and the separation of church and state. His book, The Democratic Soul: Spinoza, Tocqueville, and Enlightenment Theology, is forthcoming from University of Pennsylvania Press.  In addition, he is writing a series of articles and book chapters examining the writings of both political philosophers and statesmen who have drawn attention to the connections between the place of religion and issues of ambition and civic engagement in modern and American politics. His work has appeared in The American Political Science Review, Political Research Quarterly, and The Review of Politics. Prior to coming to SUNY Geneseo, he taught at Boston College, Rhodes College, the University of Richmond, and the College of the Holy Cross. He has a B.A. from Emory University, an M.A. from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Curriculum Vitae


  • The Democratic Soul: Spinoza, Tocqueville, and Enlightenment Theology (Forthcoming from University of Pennsylvania Press).

  • "Tocqueville on Religion and Democratic Character: Equality, Mediocrity, and Greatness." In Civil Religion in Modern Political Philosophy, ed. Steven Frankel and Martin D. Yaffe (Pennsylvania State University Press 2020).

  • “Tocqueville on Religion, the Enlightenment, and the Democratic Soul,” American Political Science Review 109:3 (August 2015).

  • “Spinoza’s Liberal Republicanism and the Challenge of Revealed Religion,” Political Research Quarterly 67:2 (June 2014), 239-252.

  • “‘The Chief Characteristical Mark of the True Church’: John Locke’s Theology of Toleration and His Case for Civil Religion,” The Review of Politics 76:2 (Spring 2014), 195-221.